Music is an essential part of the Walt Disney World theme park experience. From the Dapper Dans of Main Street, U.S.A. and the popular bands featured at the Epcot Eat to the Beat concert series, the Walt Disney World theme parks have a penchant for music that exudes happiness and nostalgia.
But did you know that there is a world of musical performers available for you to experience beyond the theme parks? They can be found at Disney Springs and at the resorts, and we’re here to tell you who they are and how can you find them. First up — the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
Whether you’re a guest of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or just stopping by to dine at one of the resort’s signature restaurants, try to schedule your visit when the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra is performing. Established in 1988, when the resort opened to the public, the GFSO performs daily, filling the five-story lobby with the lively sounds of ragtime, Dixie, traditional jazz, and popular Disney tunes.
The band, their costumes, and the setting is reminiscent of the Victorian era when many grand hotels featured orchestras or bands in their lobbies. At one time the GFSO only played ragtime. As times and tastes changed, so did the GFSO, and they added popular tunes to their playlist. Formed by Patrick Doyle, the orchestra’s band leader until 2016 and now part-time drummer, many of the band members sport Disney 20-year service rings indicating their long-time Disney Cast Member status.
The GFSO plays seven days per week at [4:00], [5:20], [6:25], [7:35], and [9:00] PM according to the Walt Disney World website. The orchestra loves playing their music for Walt Disney World guests but they also enjoy chatting with guests. Ask them questions about their instruments and their music — they have stories to tell. And they do take requests! You can learn more about the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra on their Facebook Page.
Stay tuned for more insight and information about Walt Disney World resort entertainment — beyond the theme parks.
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Kathy and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.